Did you know that your brain operates at 5 different frequencies?
If you are anything like me you probably know this, but to what extent are you using this knowledge to optimal effect? First, the science part………
Beta brain waves (14-40 Hz) are the ones associated with the normal waking state and quite a heightened state of alertness, logic and critical reasoning. This is an important state for effective functioning BUT it is not where optimal creativity, imagination, memory and concentration occur, so if you are operating at this speed ‘most’ of the time you may be missing out on a great deal of your brains potential.
Alpha brain waves (7.5-14 Hz) are the ones you experience during relaxation, often when your eyes are closed, and you are slipping into a lovely day dream of experiencing light meditation. Alpha brain waves heighten the imagination, the ability to visualise, the memory, learning capacity and concentration. The closer the waves get to 7.5 Hz the more you are able to access your subconscious mind and your intuition.
Theta brain waves (4-7.5 Hz) are present during deep mediation and light sleep. This is the realm of your subconscious and only experienced momentarily as you drift off to sleep from Alpha and wake from deep sleep (Delta). It is said that the Alpha-Theta boarder (7-8 Hz) is the optimal state for visualisation and creating your future reality. It is here you are capable of profound insight and inspiration.
Delta brain waves (0.5-4 Hz) are present during deep sleep and transcendental meditation. This is the realm of your unconscious and the time when healing and regeneration takes place which is why deep sleep is so important for our health.
Gamma brain waves (above 40 Hz) have only recently been discovered but these are amazingly funky. For chapter and verse take a look at http://www.omharmonics.com/blog/gamma-brain-waves, but suffice to say that when you feel completely and utterly ‘in the zone’, ‘firing on all cylinders’ and capable of conquering the world you are likely to be experiencing gamma brain waves.
All good stuff but how do we actually influence our brain waves? There are a few answers but the most widely recognised methods are forms of meditation.
If you have ever practiced any form of meditation you will know what happens to your feeling of well being, your state of calm, your ability to think clearly, and your creativity both in terms of ideas and problem solving as you move from Beta to Alpha. Despite a wealth of evidence supporting the benefits of numerous forms of meditation, for many it remains the practice of ‘yogi’ types and something to not quite be taken seriously. For those who are skeptical just take a moment to google the subject and you may be surprised to see how many highly successful ‘suits’ believe wholeheartedly in the practice of calming and slowing the mind to achieve optimum performance.
For most of us our focus is likely to be on the shift from predominantly Beta to Alpha states of mind. We live in a Beta world but an Alpha state of mind has many advantages over a Beta state of mind. In Alpha we tend to be less attached to the outcome of a situation and so are able to think more analytically, more of our potential is freed up so we become more imaginative, more aware and more intuitive. I know for sure that when I am at my best as a coach it is definitely when I am operating from an Alpha state of mind, because routes, thoughts, questions and intuition that I might otherwise be blind to suddenly appear in my brain.
In the coming weeks I’ll delve more in to meditation and the intriguing world of gamma brain waves, but for now, take a few deep breaths and enjoy the calm and potential of allowing your brain to slow down.